Geologica Belgica

1374-8505 2034-1954

 

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Roland DREESEN, Jean-Marc MARION & Bernard Mottequin

The red marble of Baelen, a particular historical building stone with global geological importance and local use

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Mots-clés : Devonian, Middle Famennian, mudmound, Souverain-Pré Formation, building stone.

Abstract

The Red Marble of Baelen is a local ornamental stone from the Limbourg area (Vesdre valley, Eastern Belgium), where it has been quarried at least since the 16th century, possibly even from the 9th century, It represents a local Member of the Middle Famennian (late Upper Devonian) Souverain-Pré Formation. It is the only known or at least the only well-documented Mid Famennian red-stained carbonate mudmound complex worldwide. Carbonate microfacies comprise nodular to lenticular algospongal pack/bindstones and massive stromatactis-bearing microbialitic mudstones, both enclosing lenticular crinoidal grain- to rudstones. Silty nodular bioclastic wacke/packstones, strongly affected by pressure solution, mark the transition with underlying and overlying micaceous sandstones and occur as interbeds within the mudmound core. The Red Marble of Baelen displays a few varieties that have been used for a large spectrum of building and decorative purposes, mostly within a short radius of the production sites, in the former Duchy of Limbourg. Its usage was rural and vernacular, although it has been exceptionally employed in prestigious buildings such as the Antwerp town hall.

To cite this article

Roland DREESEN, Jean-Marc MARION & Bernard Mottequin, «The red marble of Baelen, a particular historical building stone with global geological importance and local use», Geologica Belgica [En ligne], volume 16 (2013), 179-190 URL : http://popups.ulg.ac.be/1374-8505/index.php?id=4190.

About: Roland DREESEN

Geological Survey of Belgium, Jenner street 13, 1000 Brussels, Belgium.

About: Jean-Marc MARION

Unité de Paléontologie animale et humaine, Université de Liège, Allée du 6 Août, Bât. B18, B 4000 Liège 1, Belgium.

About: Bernard Mottequin

Unité de Paléontologie animale et humaine, Université de Liège, Allée du 6 Août, Bât. B18, B 4000 Liège 1, Belgium.